High-end smartphones have been getting bigger and bigger in recent years. The trend for monster displays means that it is not only hard to use devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z1 with one hand, but also to even fit them in your pocket. With this problem in mind, Sony has created the Xperia Z1 Compact, which as the name suggests is a smaller alternative to other flagship phones but still manages to pack a technical punch under the skin.
Design and Display
The look and feel of the Xperia Z1 Compact is right up there with Sony’s other front-running phones. While it is slightly thicker than the full-size Z1, it is quite a bit shorter and narrower because of the 4.3 inch screen. Many different colours are available, from plain black to hot pink, although you can always add personalised phone cases to a popular handset such as this if you want to get a unique look of your own. The screen is not just smaller than the five-inch Z1 but has a 720p HD resolution as opposed to full HD 1080p. This is not really much of an issue as with less area to cover, the smaller number of pixels still do a great job of creating clear, crisp imagery throughout.
What really impresses about the Xperia Z1 Compact is the Snapdragon 800 chipset, with a quad-core 2.2GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM and lots of graphical power on board. This is the same hardware as you will find on most of the class-leading devices of the day, but in a smaller and more manageable package. 16GB of internal storage space is available and there is a microSD card slot if you want even more room for apps, games, videos and photos. For those who are unfamiliar with modern mobile technology, all of this adds up to mean that the Z1 Compact is a very powerful device that is still small enough to pop in a pocket or bag without adding too much extra bulk.
Sony has chosen Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for the Xperia Z1 Compact, with plans to launch the KitKat update for this device further down the line. Android is a highly customisable software platform and Sony has done some light tinkering with the interface while managing to keep the core features intact. Perhaps the biggest selling point is the Google Play store, which has over a million apps and games on offer for users. And because of the power of this device, you will be able to use all of them. The chipset means that using the software feels fluid and intuitive, with none of the stuttering or slowdown that you would find on cheaper devices. So for a next-generation experience the Xperia Z1 Compact is a good companion.
Camera and Connectivity
The 20.7 megapixel camera of the original Z1 has been transplanted on to this scaled-down version with all of its features. It has an LED flash, a large sensor to let in plenty of light and lots of other useful bits and pieces, such as image stabilisation, smile detection and essential panorama mode abilities. You can record HD video in 1080p with this primary camera, while the front-facing two-megapixel camera will let you make video calls. 4G connectivity, as well as compatibility with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, will keep the Xperia Z1 Compact in touch with the internet and a host of peripherals with ease.
It is hard to fault the Xperia Z1 Compact, so for anyone who wants a smaller smartphone with all the bells and whistles of its bigger brethren, this is definitely the best choice on the market at the moment.
For information on its fellow android siblings, take a peak at our reviews to weigh our pros and cons!